Natural School Composition

Alexei Stepanovich Khomyakov stood further from literary criticism than I. Kireevsky. Khomiakov wrote poetry, plays, and occasionally critical reviews, but his main works concerned philosophical issues, land relations in Russia, the problems of reform, inter-Slavonic solidarity, the doctrine of the original ways of Russia.

In his article “On the Old and the New” (1839), Khomiakov expressed the fundamentals of his teaching in the most abrupt manner. Not at all hiding the backwardness of Russia, the author believed that the reason for this are Peter’s reforms that tore Russia from its past, which changed its original way of development. Now it’s time to remember this, because the Western ways Khomyakov considers passed: the West is on the eve of the disaster.

The insult to Russian self-abasement and Western arrogance is permeated with two articles by Khomyakov: “The Opinion of Foreigners on Russia” (Moskvityanin, 1845) and “The Russians’

Opinion on Foreigners” (The Moscow Collection of 1846). An exemplary country that knows how to keep patriarchy, was for him England (“England”, 1848). Khomyakov visited England in 1847, and she fell in love with him with her “Thorian” spirit: “here are the peaks, but then there are roots.” Khomyakov finds even a resemblance between Moscow and London: “in both life, the historical is yet to come.” However, Khomyakov went too far: he likened the word “English” to the Slavic “Uglychane”.

In the programmatic foreword to the first issue of The Russian Conversation in 1856, having learned nothing from the experience of defeat in the Crimean War, Khomyakov again and again called for “reviewing all those provisions, all those conclusions made by Western science, which we believed so unconditionally.”

Many times on different occasions Khomyakov returned to the evaluation of German philosophy from Kant to Feuerbach and came to the same conclusions as I. Kireevsky: this is the extreme expression of Western “rationalism”

and “analysis,” the “rational” school, which has reached a dead end. One of the criminals proclaimed that Hegel himself prepared a transition to philosophical materialism, that is, according to Khomiakov, in general to the elimination of philosophy. Khomiakov succeeds in noting several real stretches of Hegel: his “unlimited arbitrariness of the learned taxonomist,” when “the formula of fact is recognized for its cause”. But the whole point is that Khomyakov does not accept Hegel’s doctrine of causality and necessity.

Schelling himself, to whom he clearly felt sympathy as a “re-creator of the whole spirit,” who came to the “philosophy of faith”, is reproached with the fact that he, Schelling, is too philosophical philosopher. Slavophils reproached Hegel and the materialists, in particular Feuerbach, for the abolition of philosophy, but they themselves actually liquidated it, for where faith begins, all trust to human reason, to philosophy ends there. Khomyakov said: “there is the possibility of a more complete and profound philosophy, whose roots lie in the knowledge of a complete and pure faith – Orthodoxy.”

As a literary critic, Khomyakov always spoke with one “eternal” theme: is a Russian art school possible? The very question arose as it were in the heat of polemics with the “natural school”. I wanted to oppose one school with another school. But where was it to get your “own” school? Khomyakov denied the “natural school” as a result of Western influence.

In a special article “On the Possibility of the Russian Art School” (“The Moscow Collection for 1847”) Khomyakov said that there can not be a Russian school until the “vital principle is lost by us” because of a “grafted false half-knowledge.” About the “Russian school” in general, the “mind” in general, the “life in the beginning” in general, the “people” in general said Khomyakov in this article.

But he aspired, after Shevyrev, at least in pieces, at the cost of strains to assemble some kind of nascent Russian school in art. This can be seen from his biased and only fair analysis of works of various types of arts: Glinka’s opera Life for the Tsar (Ivan Susanin), Ivanov’s painting The Appearance of Christ to the People, reviews of Gogol, Venevitinov, S. Aksakov, L Tolstoy. With the pathos of Khomyakov argued that for the truly Russian artists must be “completely Russian” and “live a completely Russian life.”

Khomyakova is attracted by the pathetic ending of Glinka’s opera, “the brace of bells from forty-forty” glorifying the unity of the Russian land, as a blessing to the future of the all-human brotherhood. A far-off plan, in which Ivanov’s figure is placed, is a manifestation of a purely Byzantine-Russian flat iconography that avoids the voluminous sensuality of Catholic art. “Never a material image,” says Khomyakov about the picture of Ivanov, “did not so veil the mystery of Christian thought so transparently.” To contemplate the picture of Ivanov is not only pleasure, “this is an accident in life.”

Naturally, Khomyakov did not agree with the theory of “pure art,” he stood for tendentious art in the spirit of the Slavophiles and therefore dismantled the one-sidedly negative in his spirit Pisemsky’s drama “Bitter fate,” rejected the traditional praise of critics ST Aksakov for “objectivity “his creativity. The essence of this writer, explained Khomyakov, is not at all objectivity, generally “inaccessible to man.”

The essence of Aksakov’s creativity is that “he was the first of our literary men to look at our life from a positive and not from a negative point of view.” Positivity, according to Khomyakov, is characterized by the lack of satire. This is the essence of the “Russian” school in art. Khomiakov recognized the right of art to some reproof, but limited it only to satire on “types of vices,” and not to “private persons.” In this sense, he praised the moralistic accusatory spirit of Leo Tolstoy’s Three Deaths. But the real social denunciation, which was the main pathos of Russian realistic literature, he practically rejected.

A sound idea about the “Russian school” in art was distorted by Khomyakov to the point of absurdity and perished, without finding its justification. But in fact the school was in reality a school of realism, but it evoked dislike of Khomyakov.

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Natural School Composition